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Über dieses Buch

The overall aim of the book is to introduce students to the typical course followed by a data analysis project in earth sciences. A project usually involves searching relevant literature, reviewing and ranking published books and journal articles, extracting relevant information from the literature in the form of text, data, or graphs, searching and processing the relevant original data using MATLAB, and compiling and presenting the results as posters, abstracts, and oral presentations using graphics design software. The text of this book includes numerous examples on the use of internet resources, on the visualization of data with MATLAB, and on preparing scientific presentations. As with its sister book MATLAB Recipes for Earth Sciences–3rd Edition (2010), which demonstrates the use of statistical and numerical methods on earth science data, this book uses state-of-the art software packages, including MATLAB and the Adobe Creative Suite, to process and present geoscientific information collected during the course of an earth science project. The book's supplementary electronic material (available online through the publisher's website) includes color versions of all figures, recipes with all the MATLAB commands featured in the book, the example data, exported MATLAB graphics, and screenshots of the most important steps involved in processing the graphics.



Chapter 1. Scientific Information in Earth Sciences

This book is based on an undergraduate course taught at the University of Potsdam in Germany (, as was also the case with its sister book MATLAB Recipes for Earth Sciences–3rd Edition (Trauth 2010). The objective of this course was to guide students through the typical progression of a scientific project. Such projects usually start with a search of the relevant literature in order to review and rank published books and journal articles, to extract information (as text, data, maps, or graphs), and to search, process and visualize data, compiling the results and presenting them as posters, abstracts and oral presentations (talks). The course was first held for second-year students in earth sciences during the 2010–11 winter semester, and then repeated in the following summer semester. The original plan was to hold the course in a computer pool with fifteen workstations. However, an unexpectedly large number of students enrolled for the first presentation, which had more than sixty participants. This led to the course being held in a lecture hall with a projector, a microphone, and a speaker system. There was also a table for the instructor’s laptop and equipment, and wireless access to the Internet; the students used their own private laptops.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 2. Searching and Reviewing Scientific Literature

This chapter is on searching relevant literature, reviewing and ranking published books and journal articles, and extracting relevant information in the form of text, data, or graphs. In this context, the focus of our book is on Internet resources and literature in an electronic format such as the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), rather than on printed journals and books in a library. Although some of you might have a printed version of this book in your hands, most people have probably taken advantage of Springer’s eBook Collection to read the digital version on a computer.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 3. Internet Resources for Earth Science Data

This chapter deals with electronic data resources, searching for specific data, transferring data between servers and computers (clients), and data storage. Section 3.2 introduces the systems available for data storage, starting with a historical retrospective and ending with the most recent storage systems such as DVDs, CDs, and flash memory. Section 3.3 discusses the various data and file formats used. These include ASCII and binary file formats, generic binary file formats such as the JPEG format for images or the PS formats for vector graphics, and software-specific file formats (such as the Microsoft Word file DOC format or the MATLAB binary MAT format).
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 4. MATLAB as a Visualization Tool

MATLAB® is a software package developed by The MathWorks Inc., founded by Cleve Moler, Jack Little and Steve Bangert in 1984, which has its headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts ( MATLAB was designed to perform mathematical calculations, to analyze and visualize data, and to facilitate the writing of new software programs. The advantage of this software is that it combines comprehensive math and graphics functions with a powerful high-level language. Since MATLAB contains a large library of ready-to-use routines for a wide range of applications, the user can solve technical computing problems much more quickly than with traditional programming languages, such as C++ and FORTRAN. The standard library of functions can be significantly expanded by add-on toolboxes, which are collections of functions for special purposes such as image processing, creating map displays, performing geospatial data analysis or solving partial differential equations.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 5. Visualizing 2D Data in Earth Sciences

In this chapter we demonstrate advanced two-dimensional visualization techniques in the form of graphical displays of the types of data typically encountered in earth sciences, using MATLAB. The first example displays graphically a temperature and snow accumulation time series for the last 20,000 years from the GISP2 ice core data presented by R.B. Alley (2000), in a single plot with an x-axis and two y-axes (Sect. 5.2). Section 5.3 introduces the use of bar plots for displaying histograms, in which the temperature data used in the previous example is divided over equally spaced temperature intervals (called bins, or classes) and the counts per bin (the number of data points that fall within each bin) are displayed as a bar plot.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 6. Visualizing 3D Data in Earth Sciences

Most data in earth sciences are spatially distributed, either as vector data, (points, lines, polygons) or as raster data (gridded topography). Vector data are generated by digitizing map objects such as drainage networks or outlines of lithologic units. Raster data can be obtained directly from a satellite sensor output, but gridded data can also, in most cases, be interpolated from irregularly-distributed field samples (gridding).
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 7. Processing and Displaying Images in Earth Sciences

Computer graphics are stored and processed as either vector or raster data. Most of the data types that were encountered in the previous chapter were vector data, i.e., points, lines and polygons. Images are generally presented as raster data, i.e., as a 2D array of color intensities. Images are everywhere in geosciences. Field geologists use aerial photographs and satellite images to identify lithologic units, tectonic structures, landslides and other features within a study area. Geomorphologists use such images for the analysis of drainage networks, river catchments, and vegetation or soil types. The analysis of images from thin sections, the automated identification of objects, and the measurement of varve thicknesses all make use of a great variety of image processing methods.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 8. Editing Graphics, Text, and Tables

In Chaps. 2 and 3 we extracted text and tables from journal articles, web-pages, and online data bases. In Chaps. 5 and 6 we then created various simple line graphs, bar plots, and block diagrams with MATLAB. In Chap. 7 we processed images, in particular satellite imagery. Both the vector graphics created in Chap. 5 and the raster graphics generated in Chaps. 6 and 7 require further editing before they can be published in journal articles or books, presented as elements of posters, or included in conference presentations. In this chapter we demonstrate how to edit vector graphics, raster graphics, text, and tables using both open source and commercial software packages.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth Sillmann

Chapter 9. Creating Conference Presentations

The results of a project are typically presented in three formats: posters, talks, and papers. A poster is collection of graphics, photos, and text printed on a large sheet of paper that is presented on a poster-board in a large hall in a conference building. Before the actual presentation of a poster, the scientist submits an abstract summarizing the key findings of the research project. Abstracts are typically limited to between 100 and 200 words although exceptions are sometimes made, e.g., for extended abstracts which, in some cases, may reach the length of a journal article. Abstracts are also required to be submitted for a conference talk. A talk is an oral presentation, typically 15 to 20 minutes long and supported by a series of pages or slides projected by a video projector. The slides generally contain graphics and photos, but only a relatively small amount of text. Talks are organized into theme sessions that are chaired by a session convener. The convener introduces the presenter of the talk, takes care of the time management of the session, and moderates the discussion with questions and answers after the talk. This chapter deals with the planning of a talk and the design of presentation slides, as well as offering a few suggestions for practicing and presenting a talk.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth. Sillmann

Chapter 10. Creating Conference Posters

The results of a project are typically presented in three formats; posters, talks, and papers. A poster is collection of figures, photos, and text printed on a large sheet of paper that is presented on a poster board in a large hall in a conference building. During poster sessions, the presenter of the poster can personally interact with the people attending the poster session and visiting the poster. This section is on planning and designing a poster, and also includes suggestions for practicing the presentation of a poster at a conference.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth. Sillmann

Chapter 11. Creating Manuscripts, Flyers, and Books

Oral and poster presentations are typically held at conferences or workshops, with a limited number of attendees. Making posters and presentations available online, as either PDF files or videos, increases the potential size of the audience. The most effective way to present scientific information is, however, to publish it as a journal article, thesis, or book. In contrast to these multipage formats, flyers and brochures are used to provide scientific information in a highly condensed form and are typically distributed as handouts at conferences, from trade show booths, during roadshows, or at events presented for the general public.
Martin Trauth, Elisabeth. Sillmann


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